With a steel tubular frame, smaller battery and a less powerful motor, Ather’s new affordable scooter might be priced under Rs. 1 lakh
In the first phase of EV revolution we saw manufacturers launching loaded, feature rich variants. In the next phase, we are seeing introduction of more affordable variants. Lower pricing is achieved via installing a smaller battery pack, fewer features, etc.
Ola has successfully entered step 2 with S1 Air. As announced recently, Ola is offering S1 Air with 2 kWh, 3 kWh and even 4 kWh battery options. Prices range between Rs. 84,999 and 1,09,999 (ex-sh). Ola’s rival, Ather is getting to launch a more affordable version of their electric scooter.
Ather’s New Affordable Scooter
A new test mule of Ather electric scooter has been spied in BTM Layout, Bangalore. Hat tip to automotive enthusiast Thushar for sharing the exclusive spy shot. It is likely to be of the upcoming entry variant of Ather electric scooter. The new test mule is starkly identical to existing Ather 450.
Battery size is likely to go down as opposed to the 3.7 kWh unit on existing 450X Gen 3. With Gen 3, Ather promises a 146 km range and a 105 km true range. Ather’s new affordable scooter might promise slightly lesser range, albeit with a less powerful motor. Expect the 7” touchscreen with Google integration will be retained.
Last month, Ather launched Gen 3 of their electric scooters. Under this, the 450 Plus is priced at Rs 1.9 lakh while the Ather 450X is priced at Rs 2.13 lakh. These are ex-sh prices excluding FAME-II subsidy of Rs 55,000. With the subsidy, prices come down to Rs 1.35 lakh and Rs 1.58 lakh, ex-sh. The upcoming new Ather electric scooter is likely to get a price tag of under Rs 1 lakh, ex-sh, inclusive of subsidy.
Phase II Of Battery Safety Norms
Phase II of the new battery norms set by MoRTH will come into effect from April 2023. The enforcement is due to the high number of EV fire incidents reported, likely due to improperly designed batteries. Come April 2023, EV manufacturers have to meet Amendment-3 proposed to AIS 156 and AIS 038 Rev.2 across L, M and N categories.
Amendment-3 of the said AIS, as issued by MoRTH, was in two phases. Phase I was in effect from 1st December 2022 and Phase II is set to take effect from 31st March 2023. Electric scooters fall into L category and should meet the new battery norms set forth by a panel under Amendment-3.
Since the new changes to battery tech will add cost, Ather might strike out some elements on this upcoming budget scooter. Main among those will be 450X’s aluminium space frame. New chassis features a tubular frame that is more economical to fabricate.
The chassis has seamless tubes of steel bent and welded to form a simple tubular frame. Battery placement is still in the floorboard. With FAME II subsidies expiring from March 31st 2024, EV manufacturers have to work towards expanding their scale of manufacturing to bring prices down.